Honoring, in perpetuity, ladies whose contributions have influenced the direction that Alaska


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Dorothy Page, well-known as the “Mother of the Iditarod”, enlisted the assistance of Joe Redington Sr., well-known as the “Father of the Iditarod”, to phase the an initial race in 1967 in between Knik and big Lake. In 1973 the race was operation over 1, 000 miles between Anchorage and Nome. Today, “The Last good Race” is staged every March through mushers from roughly the human being competing in Alaska’s premier sporting event.

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Page promoted tirelessly to have actually Congress point out the Iditarod Trail together a National historic Trail in 1978. Across the U.S., just 16 trails have actually won this historical designation. The Alaskan trail celebrates the indispensable role played by “man’s ideal friend” in the last great gold rush.

As a writer and editor, page published the Iditarod’s yearly race program and edited, The Iditarod Runner. Page also wrote because that the Frontiersman and also the sink Sun. She to be a member the the Alaska press Women and also National Federation of push Women and also received State and also National press Awards because that her publishing of the Iditarod follow Annual.

In the Mat-Su Valley, Page established the Wasilla-Knik-Willow Creek historical Society, the Wasilla Museum, and Knik Museum. Together a publicly servant web page was top top the Wasilla Library Board, Wasilla’s Republican Committee, Wasilla City Council, and served as mayor of Wasilla. She was well-known for she years of company to the Mat-Su Borough through resolution honoring she “Distinguished business to the Community”.

In 1984, page was the recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer Award, presented by governor Bill Sheffield. She to be the recipient of the market of Wasilla’s proclamation honoring Page’s life in 1989 and also she received the State the Alaska’s Legislative citation by the 16th Alaska legislative branch in 1990.

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Extended BioDorothy Guzzi web page (“Mother that the Iditarod”) was born top top January 23, 1921, in Bessemer, Michigan to parents Arcole C. Guzzi and also Mary Mae Jago Guzzi. She relocated with her family to Duluth and also then to Minneapolis, whereby she spent most of her early life.

Following she high institution graduation in 1939, Dorothy relocated to Albuquerque climate to Los Alamos, brand-new Mexico. She worked in the former office, in clinical records of the Los Alamos Hospital. She also worked as the chief telephone operator. She opened Dorothy’s coffee shop in 1950, across from the well known Camel rock Trading Post.

Page married Vondole Page, ~ above June 17, 1959, in Taos, brand-new Mexico. They operated the trade post and also café till they took a holidays to Alaska in 1960. They never ever lived in new Mexico again and also moved come Dillingham, Alaska. Von operated as a Superintendent that schools and Page functioned in the school office. In 1962 they relocated to Wasilla, Alaska. Here she saw her an initial sled dog race, an occasion that would play a far-ranging role in her plenty of contributions come Alaska.

In 1965, page was chairperson of Wasilla’s Alaska Centennial Committee. Together a Centennial project, she initiated the idea that reopening the historic Iditarod Trail in between Knik and huge Lake. Dog mushing had actually been the primary way of communication and transportation in the Bush and Interior by Alaska Natives because that centuries and remained so for the Russian, American, and also French-Canadian fur trappers in the 19th century, getting to its peak during the yellow rushes that the so late 19th and early 20th centuries. During the 1960s snow equipments started to replace the dog teams and they virtually vanished.

In her very own words, Page, the self-described “history buff” wanted, “a spectacular dog gyeongju to awaken Alaskans to what mushers and also their dogs had actually done because that Alaska”. Page began the work of arranging support for she idea however, she to be unable to obtain the support of a single dog musher till she met Joe Redington, Sr. At the pasture Winter Carnival. Redington, that would later become known as the “Father that the Iditarod” supplied dog teams to carry out search and rescue for the U.S. Waiting Force and owned a large kennel. He additionally had been lobbying to do the Iditarod trail a National historical Trail because the 1950s. Redington i agree to loan his support to the event on the condition that a purse that $25,000 would be divided among the winners. With Page’s determination, the money was shortly raised.

The historic Iditarod Trail, i beg your pardon passed with both Wasilla and Knik, was an ideal stage for the very first of many dog races. In February 1967, fifty-eight dog mushers competed in 2 heats along a 25 mile stretch the the old Iditarod Trail in between Wasilla and Knik. The gyeongju was modeled ~ the an initial large dog sled race in the state, the 1908 come 1918 All-Alaskan Sweepstakes (AAS) of Nome. The main name of this 1967 occasion was the Iditarod trace Seppala Memorial Race and also honored the three-time Sweepstakes champion, Leonhard Seppala. While Seppala to be most well known for participating in the 1925 serum operation which conserved the city the Nome native a diphtheria epidemic, web page reported “Seppala was picked to stand for all mushers”. The 1969 race over the same trail with a purse that $1,000, attracted only 12 mushers and was the last till 1973, when, largely as result of Redington, the gyeongju to Nome to be established. Page continued to support the Iditarod in numerous ways throughout her life and, back she never raced, in 1997 she to be posthumously awarded as an honorary musher.

Page offered on the Iditarod trace Committee’s board of directors because its inception. Transparent the years, page served on many committees for the Iditarod, consisting of the executive committee. At the moment of her death, she to be serving as the treasurer.

While top the Centennial Committee in 1966, her drive to preserve the early history of the valley was the pressure for the establishment of the Wasilla-Knik-Willow Creek historical Society. She served as President. She was important in founding Wasilla Museum, Knik Museum and also served together curator because that both museums. She offered as a member that the Wasilla Library plank for 20 years. 1973-1989 – Wrote, edited, and also published the Iditarod’s annual race program and also edited the race’s news magazine, The Iditarod Runner. She wrote weekly columns because that the Frontiersman, plus function articles and articles of historical interest for both the Frontiersman and the valley Sun. She served 4 state on Wasilla City Council. She served as market of Wasilla 1986 and 1987. She served as Wasilla’s Republican Committee woman from 1968. She to be a long-time member that the Alaska press Women and the nationwide Federation of press Women.

Described by her friend, Gail Phillips, “Dorothy had the unfailing, innate and also wonderful capacity to gain the ideal people connected in activities she felt they need to be involved in, specifically if she herself was involved. When she had scoped the end a “victim’s” strength and also abilities and determined wherein that human was essential most, she would certainly move mountains to make sure they acquired involved. A huge part of Iditarod’s tremendous success end the years can be attributed come Dorothy’s capacity to get the right people associated in the right job. In addition, as soon as a human being was in a position to help, Dorothy ongoing to aid – she didn’t leave civilization hanging the end on a limb. She could always be counting on for support and also help.”

Although Dorothy page is most famed for gift the “Mother that the Iditarod”, many human being remember her as a tireless support for building and preserving neighborhoods in Alaska. After her passing, many people wrote into The Iditarod jogger to re-superstructure their personal stories and also thanks to one of Alaska’s most treasured women. Page’s friend, Representative Curt Maynard wrote, “Dorothy’s spirit is the legacy I would choose to recognize and also honor. That is her enthusiasm and also diligence that have inspired rather to seek their goals and dreams. I know of plenty of of my next-door neighbors in the sink watched her gain the sphere rolling top top the Iditarod and they caught the “volunteer spark”. Anyone who life to be touched through Dorothy was stirred to carry out a little more, try a small harder, give much more time and energy to their neighborhood, church, or school. The Valley has a rich background that with Dorothy’s efforts is maintained for our children and grandchildren. The usual bond that she created by her heart ensures a wealthy future also. Say thanks to you, Dorothy and also we hope to see you on under the trail.”

Awards

1984: recipient of the Governor’s Volunteer Award gift by governor Bill Sheffield.

1986: Dorothy got the Wasilla-Knik-Willow Creek society Gold Pan Award. She won both state and national awards for she Iditarod trail Annuals.

1989: After she death, the Wasilla Museum to be renamed the Dorothy G. Web page Museum.

1989: She to be the recipient of the market of Wasilla’s proclamation honoring Dorothy’s life.

1990: She to be the recipient of the State the Alaska’s Legislative citation by the 16th Alaska Legislature.

1997: She was named the Honorary Musher because that Iditarod 25. She is commemorated by the Dorothy G. Page Halfway Award, offered to the an initial musher to reach the halfway point of the yearly race, in Cripple in even-numbered years and in Iditarod in odd-numbered years.

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She obtained State and National press Awards because that her publication of the “Iditarod trace Annual”

She was well-known for her years of business to the Matanuska-Susitna Borough by resolution recognizing her “Distinguished business to the Community”.